HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — The cruise industry announced Wednesday that it voluntarily suspended voyages in U.S. waters until October, a month after the CDC’s “no-sail” order is set to expire.
“We believe it is prudent at this time to voluntarily extend the suspension of U.S. oceangoing cruise operations to Oct. 31,” read a statement issued by the Cruise Lines International Association, the major trade organization for oceangoing cruise lines.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the leading voice of the global cruise industry, carrying 95% of the world’s ocean going cruisers.
“CLIA cruise line members will continue to monitor the situation with the understanding that we will revisit a possible further extension on or before 30 September 2020. At the same time, should conditions in the U.S. change and it becomes possible to consider short, modified sailings, we would consider an earlier restart,” the statement read.
A Norwegian cruise line halted all trips and apologized Monday after a coronavirus outbreak aboard one vessel infected at least 5 passengers and 36 crew.
Health authorities fear the ship may have spread the virus to dozens of towns and villages along the west coast of Norway.
Positive coronavirus tests have also been reported this week on cruise ships in Italy and Tahiti.
Cruise activity in the U.S. supports 421,000 jobs, and generates $53 billion annually in economic activity throughout the country, according to CLIA’s most recent Economic Impact Study.
Each day of the suspension of U.S. cruise operations, there’s an estimated loss of up to $110 million in economic activity and 800 direct and indirect jobs.